China Revokes Credentials of 3 ‘Wall Street Journal’ Reporters
19 February 2020, 20:34
China has revoked the press credentials of three journalists with the U.S.-based Wall Street Journal newspaper over a recent editorial headline the government deemed racist, VOA news reports.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters in Beijing Wednesday that the paper refused to apologize for the editorial in its February 3 edition, titled “China is the Real Sick Man of Asia.” The editorial, written by American academic Walter Russell Mead, criticized China’s response to the outbreak of the new coronavirus that has killed over 2,000 people on the mainland since it began two months ago. Tens of thousands of people both in China and several other countries have also been infected by the virus.
The phrase “sick man of Asia” has been historically used to stereotype Chinese people as disease-ridden and unclean. The headline, however, was written by someone on the editorial staff, not Mead nor the reporters.
The Journal has identified the three staffers as deputy bureau chief Josh Chin and reporter Chao Deng, both U.S. nationals, and reporter Philip Wen, an Australian national. All three have five days to leave China.
Another Wall Street Journal reporter, Chun Han Wong, was effectively expelled last year after he wrote an article about a relative of President Xi Jinping.
Wednesday’s decision to expel the reporters comes a day after the Trump administration announced it would treat five Chinese state-run media outlets, including Xinhua news agency and China Global Television Network, the same as foreign embassies, requiring them to register their employees and U.S. properties with the State Department.